Under the European Green Week dedicated to the “zero pollution ambition” that the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia celebrated, on June 4th an event organized by the project “EU for Natura 2000 in Serbia” was held in the Botanical Garden “Jevremovac” in Belgrade.

The event was organized with the presence of the State Secretary at the Ministry of the Environmental Protection Jelena Tanaskovic and Head of Cooperation in the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia Yngve Engstroem, as well as with presence of numerous experts and professionals in charge of environmental protection.

State Secretary at the Ministry of Environmental Protection Jelena Tanaskovic said that nature protection is an extremely important topic for Serbia and the sustainable development of the country, as well as for Chapter 27, related to environmental protection and climate change. The Ministry of Environmental Protection is working rapidly to improve the implementation of EU legislation in this area. Amendments to the Law on Nature Protection are in the process, we are working on a new Regulation on the ecological network and the adoption of the Regulation on the assessment of acceptability. Nature protection is extremely important for us, I want to thank the European partners for the great support they provide us in this area, both in the harmonization of regulations and through the project “EU for Natura 2000 in Serbia”. About 43% of the species that inhabit Europe live in Serbia. That is why it is important for us to support the identification of potential Natura 2000 areas through this project, because it is a precondition for nature protection for EU members, which is what Serbia is striving for”, said State Secretary Tanaskovic.

Natura 2000 event shown the project activities and the main achieved results during the two years of implementation of a project based on nature protection and biodiversity conservation. Serbia is extraordinarily rich in the terms of biodiversity, and during the last two years a team of 30 Serbian experts has been working on the identification of the best sites for the conservation of valuable animal and plant species, as well as habitats. These territories will be a part of the Natura 2000 network, the largest network of protected areas in Europe Continent.

Pollution affects everyone – through the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land on which we grow food. Unfortunately, pollution is also one of the main reasons for the loss of biodiversity. That is why projects like “EU for Natura 2000 in Serbia” are very important, because they provide important information about the most valuable species and habitats in Serbia, where and why they should be protected and what are the benefits of nature conservation”, said Head of Cooperation in the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia Yngve Engstroem. He added that the approach to the conservation and sustainable use of Natura 2000 sites focuses on people working with nature, not against it.

With intention to show the great biodiversity in Serbia, the Project team prepared Natura 2000 film that was premiere presented during the event. In addition, a new mobile fieldwork application “Terenska” was presented, as well as biodiversity data management and new Natura 2000 website as a part of Ministry of Environmental Protection internet page.

Nature protection is an important topic for Serbia related to the implementation of Chapter 27 (environmental protection and climate change) as part of the negotiation process for EU accession. The Natura 2000 network is a crucial instrument for biodiversity protection in the European Union, established to secure the survival of the most valuable species and habitats and ensuring that European nature systems stay healthy and resilient. The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Serbia is supporting the Ministry of Environmental Protection through different projects and technical assistance in the process of transposition of the Environment European Directives to Serbian legislation.